Call for papers: Faulkner in the Media Ecology (11/24-26, 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
University of New South Wales
contact email: 

Under the auspices of the Modernism Studies Centre in Australia, the School of English, Media, and Performing Arts at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, will host the 'Faulkner in the Media Ecology' conference, on November 24-26, 2011.

In William Faulkner's Sanctuary (1931), we read of a Mississippi town square in which 'the sunny air was filled with competitive radios and phonographs,' and where 'a throng stood all day, listening.' This tableau neatly assembles a number of issues apposite to the ongoing discussion of Faulkner's work within the burgeoning media ecology of the twentieth century. How, we might ask, is a novel like Sanctuary produced, within this climate of convergent media? In what ways do the new media dictate the reception of such texts in a mass-market economy? How do the works of a high modernist author bear the material traces of a technologically driven society? Further to considerations of Faulkner's oeuvre as negotiating a past that is 'never dead,' it is now, more than ever, time to read that body of work with one eye on the itinerary of mediatic modernization. Faulkner, who also wrote for film, television, and the stage throughout his career, presents a unique opportunity to plot the connections between many discrete artistic and cultural nodes.

Paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Faulkner's cinematic dispensation
• The place of radio in Faulkner's aesthetic
• Mass market publishing and Faulkner's craft
• Photographic technology in Faulkner
• Gramophones, graphophones and phonographs in Faulkner's art
• The voice of the loudspeaker in Faulkner
• The mediation of celebrity and the Nobel Prize
• Newspapers, journalism, and Faulkner's style
• Music and the pulse of Faulkner's prose
• Collaborative labor and Faulkner's putative stagecraft
• Marionettes and other mummery
• Faulkner and the advent of television
• The autonomy and obsolescence of the novel
• Editing Faulkner – typography and revision
• Electricity and telegraphy across Faulkner's oeuvre

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, to by 30 March, 2011. Papers are allotted 20 minutes for presentation followed by 10 minutes for discussion. Please include all relevant contact information as well as any need for audio-visual equipment.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

Richard Godden (UC Irvine)
Peter Lurie (University of Richmond)
John Matthews (Boston University)
Jay Watson (University of Mississippi)
Michael Zeitlin (University of British Columbia)